Lost High School Class Ring In Ocean City, Maryland…Found in Atlantic Ocean
Rachel’s High School Class Ring
18 Karat Gold with Onyx Stone
As I was already driving two hours inland from completing a couple of searches in Ocean City, Maryland, I received a call from a young lady who was soon to graduate from an elite private high school in Baltimore Maryland. Rachel was with her senior class, celebrating Beach Week in Ocean City just three days earlier when she lost her ring in the Atlantic Ocean. When we talked, she was already back from the trip in her hometown of Northern Baltimore. The student found me listed in The Ring Finders Directory for the Ocean City, Maryland area hoping that it was not too late for someone to help her retrieve her class ring from the water where she had to let it go and return home.
Rachel explained that she was in the ocean with her boyfriend just playfully having fun when her 18 karat gold senior class ring slipped off of her finger and disappeared into the waves of the Atlantic. She was terribly down about the whole thing and she was scared to tell her parents about it. She wanted to do everything she could to get it back.
By the time that I would be able to return to Ocean City and get back into the water for the search, 4 days would already pass by since the ring came off her finger and landed in the water. I wanted to get out there as fast as I could. I checked when low tide would occur the next evening which would be Sunday night around 9:30 p.m.. I told Rachel that I would do everything I could to get her ring back and she was grateful but wavering as to whether or not this was possible for me to recover it.
The one positive thing that was going heavily in Rachel’s favor in regards to the probability that I can retrieve this ring from the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the night, was that she could clearly remember her exact position as to where she was when the ring fell off her finger. After receiving answers to all of the questions that I had for her regarding where she was located on the beach and where the ring fell off in the water, I was very confident Rachel was clear about her positioning and I felt good about where to go in the water to look for her ring.
She knew where she was in relationship to the lifeguard chair and how many feet over and back she was from it to where her beach towel was. Rachel knew how many feet over from where her beach stuff was from where she walked towards the shore where the ring slipped off her finger. I even asked her about where her beach stuff rested in relationship to a trash can that was out there on the sand and she could tell me almost exactly where her things were without hesitation. This was a huge bonus for me when it was time to hit the surf!
On Sunday, June 2nd at 7pm, my son Danny and I drove a 3 hour trip to Ocean City, Maryland. I dropped Danny off at First Street so he could walk the boardwalk while I drove to 33rd Street to start the search. Unfortunately, there’s no telling what the weather will bring at the time that you want to get out into the water. This was one of those times! Two vicious storm systems rolled through the beach city with heavy downpours along with lightning and roars of angry thunder. I had put my wetsuit on and brought all of my gear out to the sand and within several minutes I saw lightning behind me, and thunder ensued. I returned to the car and took cover.
I had to wait for the first storm to finish which took about 2 and 1/2 hours to clear the beach and move far off into the Atlantic. I then got my things out of the car again and headed into the darkness onto the beach to try for the second time and then the second storm approached from inland on the Chesapeake Bay side. I couldn’t believe that yet another storm approached! The lightning and thunder made its appearance once again and I quickly got off the sand and back into my vehicle, where I headed off towards the main highway to take cover once again. I never will forget the amount of rainfall that took place within that two-hour period. I thought the world was coming to an end because there was so much rain! I just sat in my car and waited and waited and waited. Finally at around two in the morning, I drove back to the beach and got my equipment out of the car for the third time and went on to the sand to test whether or not the second storm was far enough away for me to make my entrance once again. You could see all of the sky electricity brightly shining in flashes over the ocean, but far enough away that I felt safe to make my entrance into the Atlantic. It was getting close to 2:45 in the morning in complete darkness when I approached the water. If you wonder what kind of feeling it is to start a search at such an hour in total darkness except for the headlamp that you’re wearing, it’s a pretty empty feeling which you have to just get over and raise the bar of confidence within yourself to believe that somehow, some way I can find this missing keepsake. You’re just blindly going about it, hoping that the coordinates are correct based on someone’s memory. If not, one could take hours upon hours to find the target and that is with the assumption that the ring is still in the ocean and not picked up by another detectorist. I made sure that my position lined up exactly where Rachel told me she was in the water when the ring slipped off her finger.
The ring search began and I moved around in the dark waters, starting the grid, hoping to get the signal that I was after as I walked in straight lines back and forth in the hotspot area that I hoped the ring would turn up in. If you don’t have the approximate weight of the ring, and you don’t have information from the owner as to how much gold is on the ring, the detectorist just hopes to get a reading that is in the approximate range of what type of ring might give off that particular signal on the metal detector.
I believe my search in the water took about 20 minutes or so before I heard the signal that I was searching for! The numbers that came up on my detector screen were the solid numbers in the range that a class ring for a young lady might give off. The numbers were similar but slightly variant but close together in similarity and that is very consistent with class rings that I have studied with my detector! I may have found exactly what I was looking for! I got very excited!
I started working on scooping up the ring, one attempt after another. The waves were rushing in and out, making my middle-of-the-night adventure a bit more complicated. But I was not going to give in or give up this precious target signal. Every time I made an attempt in bringing up the scoop and checking what was in it, I had the anticipation of hoping that the ring would show its shiny gold face. But each time I came
up empty-handed. Just pebbles, sand and rocks showed up in the scoop. I kept working on it over and over again and finally the ocean gave up the target that was approximately 6 inches deep in the sand in about 4 feet of water at semi low tide. My eyes went right for the deepest part of the scoop and there mixed in with all of the elements of the ocean, between the sand and stones my eye became fixed on the loveliest class ring that perfectly matched the photos of the ring that Rachel had previously sent me! I was beyond thrilled! I caught the little guy!
There was such a feeling of triumph! With all of the details leading up to the find, it really excited me that I overcame many obstacles: Rachel’s ring had been in the Atlantic Ocean now for 4 days, I had spent an hour on the phone going over details with Rachel regarding the ring and the location of where she possibly lost it, Rachel would not be able to be present with me at the search site and I would have to orient myself only based on Rachel’s recollection and information that she gave me, I studied multiple facts including the photos of the ring that she sent me, studied and compared multiple tide charts for the region, traveled nearly 175 miles, taking 3 hours to reach the beach, waited 5.5 hours for 2 storm systems to clear the area, having to abandon the search site twice before hitting the water, then entered the roaring waves of the Atlantic in total darkness other than the use of my headlamp at nearly 3am in the morning in 4 feet of water – AND THEN, AFTER ALL OF THAT WHICH I MENTIONED ABOVE, I SUCCESSFULLY PULLED OUT OF THE SEA, THE VERY PIECE OF GOLD THAT I WAS AFTER, MEASURING ONLY LESS THAN AN INCH IN HEIGHT FROM THE RESTLESS WATERS OF THE ATLANTIC! THERE IS NO GREATER FEELING THAN TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE FIND THEIR MISSING TREASURE WITH SO MANY FACTORS INVOLVED IN HAVING TO ATTEMPT A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH IN RETURNING SUCH A SPECIAL OBJECT TO ITS OWNER!
I could not be any happier for Rachel! Especially the moment I surprised her with the ring!
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